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East Antrim Boat Club Push the Boat Out

by Tom Jobling 24 May 2018 07:02 BST 19 May 2018
The mayor popped by as East Antrim Boat Club Push the Boat Out © Andrew Kirkpatrick

Saturday 19th May will be remembered as a very busy day of maritime activities across Northern Ireland.

The RYA's 'Push-the-Boat-Out' campaign came across stiff competition from a myriad of local events: Belfast Maritime Festival, which incorporated the RYA's own Honda Youth RIB C'ship regional final, the North West 200, several 'weddings' and two cup finals! The day will also be remembered though, for its glorious May weather, a lively south easterly, and the crowds. An enthusiastic public embraced the RYA's 'taster' concept of how to get people onto the water.

One of highest turnouts was recorded by the RYA overseers on Larne Lough, where East Antrim Boat Club had over 100 folk - from toddlers to mature adults - taking to the water. This was in spite of a brisk sou'easterly which in turn hadkicked up tricky onshore conditions. But undaunted, the club members just continually ferried participants from the club's pier out to the awaiting flotilla: it ranged from a GK24 down to the club's Pico dinghies and included a brace of GP14s, Flying 15s a Wayfarer, several single-handers and a sailboard.

Speaking at the conclusion of the day, the event's lead organiser, Laser sailor Debbie Hanna, said. "The day exceeded my every expectation, but it could not have happened without the enthusiastic support of my fellow members. They threw themselves into proceedings. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the members of the public who made the journey from Larne town down to Curran Point to give sailing a try. Brilliant, just a brilliant day!" She continued, "But of course, the hard work starts now; converting that first taste of sailing into a second, third and so on. Hopefully joining EABC, and RYA, and who knows, becoming a boat owner."

Then, and as to put the icing onto an already successful cake for the Co. Antrim based club, news came through that both of East Antrim's competitors at the aforementioned Honda RIB Championship - Joshua Kane and Kelly Patterson - had won their respective age categories to go forward to the grand final at Southampton later in the year.

Further information can be obtained from the East Antrim BC website; www.eabc.org.uk or follow the club on Facebook, Twitter etc.

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